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January 22, 2015Asheville, NC, United StatesChild Exploitation

North Carolina sentenced to 16 years on child pornography charges

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina man was sentenced Thursday to serve 192 months in a federal prison for producing, possessing and distributing child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Clay and Cherokee county sheriffs’ offices.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger also ordered James Thomas Lifsey, 59, of Warne, N.C. to serve under court supervision the rest of his life upon release from prison and to register as a sex offender. Lifsey was also ordered to pay $46,057 as restitution to the victims.

In July 2013, a federal criminal indictment charged Lifsey with one count of production, one count of distribution and one count of possession of child pornography. Lifsey pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2013. According to court filings and proceedings, during the investigation HSI special agents discovered Lifsey had an extensive collection of child pornography, as well as a computer hard drive, an email account and online photo sharing accounts. Lifsey admitted to distributing child pornography internationally that he produced himself.

Lifsey has been in federal custody since July 2013 and will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.

Updated: 01/23/2015